Monday, March 19, 2018

Full of Frangipane

Formal Latin was the main written language in western civilization up to beginning of last millennium, then various vulgate works gradually emerged. No mystery that many literary terms come from Italy with such important poets in Dante, Horace, Ovid, Petrarch and Virgil, though they all were influenced by Homeric Greek, from which bulk of poetic glossary arose. Italian language provided anaphora, Ars Poetica, chiasmus, dactyl, decorum, futurism, persona, sonnet, stanza, terza rima, and volta. Romans also spread pastry confections common around Mediterranean since antiquity, none so perennial or ubiquitous in late winter as zeppole (Bignè di San Giuseppe) consisting of a baked or fried ball of dough filled with boiled cream, custard, or frangipane, a mixture of almonds, butter, eggs and sugar named after “frangere il pane” (trans., "that breaks bread") or Italian renaissance perfume inventor Marquis Frangipani, who may or may not be mythical.

Poetry reaches a higher level of expression than simple narration because its rules and styles force authors to carefully consider and construct what they want to say. This leads to such oddities as double entendres, facades of truth, and statements with depth of meaning. Suffice to say a great poet uses sound waves to pluck your heart strings and shape your sensibilities as if an ultrasonic weapon. Society venerates poets above scientists. Novelists concoct thinly veiled tales about acquaintances and family, who they exploit, insult, and oust.

Labann spent an entire, enviable, paid career contributing to improvements and imparting weighty facts, so does know perfectly well how to avoid ambiguities. But book and blog sought balance by exploring what opposes clarity and whether readers consider it ethical to do so. Most don't value logical facts or straightforward truth. Some even believe simplicity belongs under banner of metaphysics. Science does exhibit elegance: energy equals mass times the velocity of light squared. More often branches of science form a confusing, dangerous tangle resulting from narrow minded neglect and next generation incompetence.

You can’t cogently comment on anything unless you understand all aspects of it, its history, how it works, what it’s comprised of, whence it was derived, to whom it applies, or who keeps it going and why. A devote billion prefer fish on Fridays during Lent, since symbol of Christianity was once a fish, not cross. Information traffic won’t help you conveniently get through issues, just the opposite, raises blockades and stifles progress. Without, you might as well be running around dangerously carrying razors and scissors, though that amuses those who dominate, so will never be prohibited. When you expose such corruption, however, you’re branded as a heretic, or it’s equivalent in a godless realm, a nobody, or, under Trump, a loser.

Tim Keider opined in New York Times that writing suffers from, “…a side effect of our information economy, in which ‘paying for things’ is a quaint, discredited old 20th-century custom.” Open source published, as was Bike&Chain in 2008, probably flags either couldn’t be bothered pleasing or not worth purchasing. Neither proves it’s inferior or unimportant, only free, atypically and completely. Students can lift passages wholesale, though that only exercises newfound skills at cheating, not imaging novel ways to express self that professors were supposed to teach before higher education lost all relevance. Liberal arts once rounded hell bound workers out so well they could see through greed’s spell and ultimately rebel. Readers lately fear any arrangement where they don’t pay an internet access fee to be disappointed, stupefied while mining some sanctioned nugget of wit, and threatened never to duplicate contents under fear of lawsuit.

Talent has no place in today’s society. Reality dabbler Mike Rowe, interviewed yesterday by Fox News, belittled Americans for not submitting to dirty jobs for low pay, a master/slave wet dream of the one-percent to whom Rob Reich says went an inordinate amount of proceeds from industry since Nixon administration and source of social injustice and systemic ills today. They argue there are too many smart, unemployable people; reality proves there aren’t enough. Hawking wasn't irrelevant, represented the best mankind had to offer by defying ALS and lasting 76 years against all odds. Stephen held same post as Sir Issac Newton without knighthood, which he declined in protest against British shortfall in science funding. Blind or impaired, humans never stop dreaming, exploring, pressing ever onward, unless monetary concerns put them in prison cells. Subsidized statesmen and wealthiest individuals demand excellence without duty to pay for it. Why comply?

South Carolina Governor Hank McMaster [even sounds like a scion of slave owners] called teens protesting gunmen killing kids “shameful”. Some hidebound bircher, orthodox, right wing email must have been circulated so response would be uniformly reactionary. Gun control seems like a strange stance for GOP, who already command farmers, hunters, law enforcers, military, and ranchers, the only legitimate weapon users. Why wouldn’t they want to disarm opposition? Only care about campaign contributions, damn mayhem and murder?

There’s not much point to owning handguns and rifles if you spend all your time in a city. Where can you shoot without hitting someone inadvertently within population density? Sure, you can occasionally show up at a rural or suburban range, or stockpile weapons for some hypothetical zombie apocalypse. You could also rent a shotgun whenever urge to subjugate any clay pigeons arises, if ever. Rand Paul can’t condone any nanny state who wants to deny donuts dripping with transfats or interfere with friends frantically stuffing their faces with frangipane filled pastries while preparing for a dystopia of their own making.

“Long and weary my road has been. I was lost in the cities, alone in the hills… Friends and liars, don't wait for me, I'll get on all by myself. I put millions of miles under my heels, and still too close to you I feel. I am not your rolling wheels, I Am the Highway.” Audioslave, Chris Cornell [who died suspiciously in 2017, soon after performing this song in an anti-inaugural protest concert]

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